Monza head coach Raffaele Palladino has rejected the idea of coming to San Siro and playing for a draw against AC Milan tomorrow night.
Milan will be looking to build on their excellent league form since the last international break as they have won their last three games in Serie A against Empoli, Juventus and most recently Hellas Verona.
However, that will not be an easy task Monza have won four of their last five games across all competitions including a 1-0 home win over Juventus and most recently a 3-2 midweek Coppa Italia victory at Udinese despite mass rotation.
Of course, it will also be an emotional return to San Siro for Silvio Berlusconi and Adriano Galliani who will have to make sure they head to the right dressing room and seat to watch the game after their 30+ years with Milan.
Palladino spoke at his pre-match press conference ahead of what is a short trip tomorrow for his side to face the Rossoneri, with his comments relayed by TMW.
Monza are struggling to score. How are you working to improve this aspect?
“I’m not worried about the final phase. I’m happy when the goals also come from the midfielders, from the wingers and not just from the forwards. Monza’s game must be unified, then it’s clear that the strikers must be put in the best conditions to be able to score. We create many chances, I’m not worried from this point of view and I’m convinced that we will improve game after game.”
What emotions are you feeling?
“Pioli is right, it’s a romantic match. I know how much Berlusconi and Galliani care, they can’t wait for tomorrow. They did something unique with Milan that will remain in the annals of football. We are not perceiving this particular atmosphere, there with determination and desire to face this challenge well. It will be nice to play it in a full stadium.”
How did you find your first month as a coach of Monza?
“I am happy, I have a great group that always works well and wants to improve. Now we will face Milan, let’s see what the formation choices will be. From here until the break we must not get excited. We know we are doing well but we are aware that there is still a lot to do.”
Does this eve, from an emotional point of view, risk weighing on expectations?
“This match must not be a ballast or a burden. I told my players that we must enjoy this period, there must be lightness of mind in doing things and playing football. These matches are beautiful to face, they give visibility and can change history for all of us. Careers like these can change. Moral damage, desire to play them and many emotions. We must never lose sight of our goal: humility and determination in the first place.”
What are your thoughts on Milan in the recent period? What do you expect from Pioli’s team?
“I saw the match where they won in Verona, but in the last few days I have seen at least 10 matches of the Rossoneri. Right now they are one of the best teams in Italy, they play fantastic football and work for principles of play and space occupation.
“Congratulations to Pioli. They have many resources both on the field and on the bench, it was a fun studying them because I also learned a lot. We will try to play our game, we are aware of our qualities.”
What will it be like walking out at San Siro as a coach?
“In 3 years I did not expect to be able to reach San Siro. Three years ago I started a path to tackle, starting from the youth sector. Then rightly doing the ranks. It changed my life now and I’m very happy, I’m trying to give my best also thanks to the experience that I mature every day with my boys. Izzo? He is working separately, he won’t be there against Milan.”
What do Monza have to try to put Milan in difficulty?
“We have organisation, without a doubt. We also have a great physical condition, growing. We have held up against Udinese who are a very strong team and we will do the same with Milan. Our idea is to limit the things they do best and then we will try to to play with desire and courage, because we will not only think about defending but we want to make sense of this match. I am sure that my players will do their utmost to put Milan in difficulty.”
Would you sign for a draw?
“Because of my character, I say no. I’m also interested in the performance as well as the result. I asked the players to enjoy the day and the matches must then be played. Football is unpredictable, anything can happen.”